What is Hot Runner in Injection Molding


Table of contents

1. Introduction
2. What is a Hot Rubber system?
3. Key Components of a Hot Runner System
4. Types of Hot Runner Systems
5. Advantages of Hot Runner Systems
6. When to Use a Hot Runner System
7. Design Considerations for Hot Runners
8. Conclusion

1. Introduction

With the rapid development of the plastics industry, injection molding technology is constantly upgraded. In the process of injection molding, hot runner system becomes one of the key technologies to optimize the production process and improve product quality. This article will introduce the principle, composition, types and design points of hot runner system in detail, to help you deeply understand and apply this technology.

2. What is a Hot Rubber System?

Hot runner system is a kind of injection molding process, the molten state of the plastic from the injection molding machine injection nozzle directly transferred to the mold cavity of the heating channel system. Compared with the traditional cold runner system, the hot runner system can significantly improve plastic utilization, reduce production costs and improve product quality.

3. Key Components of a Hot Runner System

Hot Runner Manifold - Distributes the melt stream from the injection molding machine to multiple nozzles drops. It has multiple heated zones to maintain optimal melt temperatures.

Hot Nozzles - Transfer the polymer melt into each individual mold cavity through the nozzle tip and gate. Nozzles must be properly aligned and sealed.

Heaters - Electric heaters encircle each component to heat them up to operating temperatures. Heater bands or ceramic heaters are common.

Temperature Sensors - Thermocouples and RTD sensors provide temperature feedback for control systems.

Controllers - Control boxes adjust multiple heating zones and monitor hot runner temperatures.

Valve Gates - Actuated pin valves that open and close to start and stop melt flow with precision timing.

Manifold Plates - Steel plates that enclose and support the hot runner components.

Insulating Air Gap - Air gaps between heated and cooled components prevent heat loss.

Cables and Connections - Electrical cables, connectors and data buses linking the sensors, controllers and heaters.

Support Components - Clamps, brackets and fittings that provide alignment and attachment.

4. Types of Hot Runner Systems

There are two main types of hot runner systems: full hot runner systems and semi-hot runner systems. Let's explore each type in detail:

Full Hot Runner Systems:

Full hot runner systems are designed with every channel heated, providing individual control over each cavity. This type of system offers several advantages:

a. Precise Temperature Control: With every channel heated, full hot runner systems allow for precise temperature control throughout the mold. This ensures consistent flow and filling of each cavity, resulting in high-quality parts.

b. Balanced Flow: By individually heating each channel, full hot runner systems facilitate balanced flow of molten plastic to multiple cavities. This helps prevent issues like short shots or variations in part quality.

c. Material and Cost Efficiency: Full hot runner systems eliminate the need for cold runners, which significantly reduces material waste. This translates to cost savings, especially for high-volume production runs.

d. Design Flexibility: The elimination of cold runners in full hot runner systems provides greater design flexibility, allowing for more intricate and complex part designs. This is particularly useful for applications that require intricate geometries or multiple gating options.

Semi-Hot Runner Systems:

Semi-hot runner systems combine both heated and unheated channels within the hot runner system. This type of system offers flexibility and cost savings while still providing advantages over traditional cold runner systems:

a. Cost Savings: Semi-hot runner systems use a combination of heated and unheated channels, reducing the overall number of heaters and components required. This can result in cost savings, making it a more economical option for certain applications.

b. Flexibility in Runner Design: Semi-hot runner systems allow for more flexibility in runner design compared to full hot runner systems. The unheated channels, known as cold slugs, act as reservoirs for molten plastic, maintaining it in a semi-molten state before it enters the heated channels. This flexibility can be advantageous for applications that require different runner sizes or configurations.

c. Reduced Material Waste: While not as efficient as full hot runner systems, semi-hot runner systems still offer reduced material waste compared to traditional cold runner systems. The elimination of solidified cold runners minimizes material waste, resulting in cost savings and environmental benefits.

d. Improved Part Quality: By utilizing heated channels, semi-hot runner systems enable better temperature control and flow consistency compared to cold runner systems. This helps improve part quality by reducing defects and variations in fill.

5. Advantages of Hot Runner Systems

Improve plastic utilization: Reduce waste generation and improve raw material utilization by reducing the retention of plastic in the runner.

Reduce production costs: reduce raw material waste and energy consumption, improve production efficiency.

Improve product quality: hot runner systems can accurately control plastic flow and temperature, reducing product defect rates and improving product quality.

Shortening the molding cycle: as the hot runner system is able to maintain the molten state of the plastic, it reduces the cooling time, thus shortening the molding cycle.

Reduce injection pressure: molten plastic in the hot runner flow resistance is small, can reduce injection pressure, reduce equipment wear and energy consumption.

6. When to Use a Hot Runner System

In the production process, when the following conditions occur, you can consider using hot runner system:

Higher raw material costs: need to improve the utilization rate of raw materials.

High product precision requirements: need to reduce the product defect rate.

High production efficiency: need to shorten the molding cycle.

Multi-cavity mold production: need to flexibly adjust the plastic flow distribution.

7. Design Considerations for Hot Runners

When designing the hot runner system, the following factors need to be considered:

Plastic properties: different plastics have different melting temperatures, fluidity and thermal stability, the need to choose the right heater, hot nozzle and other components according to the plastic properties.

Product structure: According to the size, shape and structural complexity of the product, design a reasonable runner layout and cross-section shape.

Mold structure: the hot runner system needs to be closely matched with the mold structure to ensure smooth injection of molten plastic into the cavity.

Temperature control: accurate temperature control is the key to the stable operation of the hot runner system; it is necessary to choose a suitable temperature controller and set a reasonable temperature range.

8. Conclusion

Through the above analysis, we can see the importance of the hot runner system in the injection molding process. It can improve the utilization of raw materials, reduce production costs, improve product quality and production efficiency. When designing and using the hot runner system, it is necessary to fully consider factors such as plastic properties, product structure, mold structure and temperature control. By continuously optimizing and improving the design and application of hot runner systems, we can further enhance the level of injection molding technology and meet more high-precision and high-efficiency production needs.